Meet Kelly Tamura! Kelly is a 1st-year Bioengineering major as well as one of our new Mentorship Heads for the 2021-2022 school year — read on to learn more about her!
How'd you hear about BMES?
I got an email about the first general meeting and I decided to check it out!
How long have you been involved with BMES?
This year I was a permanent member on the BMES cell team and I was apart of the Adenine family. I had so much fun meeting all the other bioengineers that I decided I wanted to be more involved for this upcoming term.
What are your primary responsibilities as a Mentorship Head?
Making dope social events for members to get to know each other!
To what are you most looking forward about your position?
I'm really excited to meet a ton of new people - I think that's the greatest.
What's one thing you've learned from BMES this year?
I'm starting to learn from the past mentorship heads about how to create a fun community so that has been cool.
Which family are you in?
Favorite BMES memory?
I loved the Holiday Party - that was so so so fun. The activities were great!
Favorite class you've taken at UCLA?
Bioengineering 10! I loved reading the articles and hearing researchers talk. It was very inspiring!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love listening to music and doing anything active (one of my favs is looking like an absolute fool playing tennis).
Describe yourself as a Care Bear.
I'd be an orange Care Bear (my fav color) with a planet or something celestial as my belly badge, and I'd like the power of teleportation.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Cream cheese frosting ruins red velvet cake and I stand by that.
You've seen the BMES Board Spotlights; now get ready to be introduced to some of the Bioengineering faculty here at UCLA! Meet Dr. Aaron Meyer, a member of the Bioengineering department as well as the Bioinformatics IDP. Read on to learn more about him!
I was a UCLA undergraduate student (graduated 2009). Then went to MIT Biological Engineering for my graduate education.
Overview of Research?
We build computational models of how cells respond and communicate in our bodies. Some of this is in cancer, where we've been exploring how we can model and overcome cell-to-cell heterogeneity in tumors. We as a community usually build models of the "average" cell, which is completely inaccurate in cancer. Tumors are especially hard to treat because they are essentially complex communities of cells that can adapt and respond. Especially since coming to UCLA, though, most of our work has been looking at the immune system, which is similarly an adaptable collection of cells. We build models of, for example, how antibodies interact with our immune cells to coordinate immune responses. We've also had the opportunity to work with others at UCLA who are performing large-scale studies of people's immune responses to viral infection, bacterial infection, organ transplant, etc, and we help make sense of this incredibly complex data. It's been extremely rewarding because (1) there is just so much data available, and a real need to be able to find patterns and make sense of it; (2) we get to work with experts in so many different areas of science and medicine; and (3) what we find has such an immediate potential to help people.
What courses do you teach?
What are your hobbies?
First, cycling. I try to go at least once a week and get in ~20–50 miles. It's time to get out, decompress, and sometimes think about something without distractions. It's also a great way to explore, and LA is a wonderful place for it. Currently, I'm preparing for a ride across Iowa with a friend this summer. Second, science fiction in all and any forms.
If you could tell your undergraduate self anything, what would it be?
Read even more! Read more science, scientific articles, fiction, non-fiction. It's a source of ideas, and so much of what I do now is written communication.
If you had a theorem or special number named after you, what would be the first thing you do to celebrate this?
A big slice of cake. :-)